No diver in South Korean history has ever managed to notch a medal in an Olympic or world championship event, but hopes are high for 21-year-old Woo Ha-ram, who finished third in the preliminary men’s 1-meter springboard competition Friday.
“I'm glad that I got a better result than I expected. I generally tried to play it safe and prevent mistakes, which is why I think I did well. This is the first time I finished third in a preliminary,” Woo said in a post-match interview, adding that he’d felt no pressure since his only goal was to make it to the finals.
(Organizing committee for the FINA World Championships in Gwangju)
Together with his teammate Kim Young-nam, he also did well in the synchronized men’s 3-meter springboard competition, finishing fifth in the preliminaries and earning a spot at the finals on Saturday.
This was the main target for the Korean divers, prior to the games.
“I think a medal is a definite possibility, as long as we show what we can do. Since it‘s the finals now, what’s important is to stay confident and do my best,” Woo said.
He expressed his desire to excel and please the home crowd, adding that it was “the first time I heard my name being chanted at the world championships.”
Woo will compete in the 1-meter springboard finals Sunday. Before that, he and Kim will partake in the synchronized men‘s 3-meter springboard event Saturday at 8:45 p.m.
By Yoon Min-sik and Choi Ji-won (firstname.lastname@example.org) (email@example.com)